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File this under the law of unintended consequences. A California law passed in 2017 designed to make sure CA government agency websites were accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has had an unintended negative effect on CA agency Websites. The law simply states:
11546.7. (a) Before July 1, 2019, and before July 1 biennially thereafter, the director of each state agency or state entity, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 11546.1, and each chief information officer appointed under Section 11546.1, shall post on the home page of the state agency’s or state entity’s Internet Web site a signed certification from the state agency’s or state entity’s director and chief information officer that they have determined that the Internet Web site is in compliance with Sections 7405 and 11135, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, or a subsequent version, published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium at a minimum Level AA success criteria.
Sounds good right? But according to this Sacramento Bee article “Documents vanish from CA websites as state applies ADA law” this has happened:
Dozens of wildfire reports disappeared from Cal Fire’s website as this year’s fire season began.
Thousands of water science reports vanished from the Department of Water Resources website.
More than 2 million documents, ranging from environmental impact reports to internal human resources guides, went missing from remote corners of Caltrans’ website.
The documents are disappearing from public view as California state departments work to comply with a 2017 law aimed at improving compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It seems that some CA departments are choosing to take down thousands of documents rather than make them machine-readable or otherwise accessible. I’m sure this negative press will spur the CA government to provide more funding to state agencies to update their Websites. But in the meantime, if you’re looking for something published by the CA government, check out the Archive of the California Government Domain, CA.gov.
The Archive of the California Government Domain, CA.gov, is a collaborative project run by government information librarians at the University of California and Stanford University, coordinated by the California Digital Library (CDL) with support from the California State Library & California State Archives.
The project is hosting a metadata sprint December 6-13 to improve description for the collection. If you have a couple hours to contribute, please consider signing up! You don’t need to know anything about metadata, web archives, or California to help out.
An asynchronous crowdsourced project to enhance the Archive of California government documents.
Help us enrich descriptive metadata for the CA.gov collection in the Internet Archive to make the archive easier to use. Each sprinter works on metadata for a small subset of archived websites. We will provide tutorials, reference materials, and lots of support.
Any library or archives staff (including paraprofessionals, iSchool students) with an interest in improving findability and usability of archived state of California government websites. No cataloging experience necessary!
More details and sign-up are on the CA.gov Web Archive Metadata Sprint website.
This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Recreation, Travel & Tourism, featuring 35 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:
Interpretive Services Vendors and Contractors – A database of vendors used by the California State Parks for interpretive services. You can search by company name, or by the type of service, from activity kits to workshops. The vendors are neither endorsed nor recommended by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Things To Do – From the Illinois Office of Tourism, this is a database that allows one to search through about 10,400 items to review based on eight different broad subjects (Arts & Culture, History, Sports & Gaming, etc…) based on which subject heading chosen, there are other drop down choices to help narrow options.
Wisconsin Events Calendar – Sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Users can search by date, location, distance, and type of event. Lists community festivals, fairs, sporting events and art shows throughout the state.
For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/recreationdbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in the this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.
This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Military & Veterans, featuring 22 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:
Alabama Civil War Service Database – Search Civil War service records by name, branch, company unit, regiment unit, or co. unit name.
Service Provider Search by Location – A searchable database of services available to California veterans, their survivors and dependents at the federal, state and local levels. It includes federal, state and county veterans offices, contact information for veterans organizations, services available for homeless veterans, veterans offices at educational institutions and other veterans-related material, searchable by keyword, location, and type of service.
Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Catalog – Documents memorials dedicated to Wisconsin veterans throughout Wisconsin, the U.S., and internationally. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center actively maintains this resource which includes the history, physical condition, and location of each memorial.
For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/militarydbs. Some military history databases are listed under History, People and Culture. It’s a judgement call.
If you know of state agency produced databases in the area of Military & Veterans, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.
This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Jobs & Unemployment, featuring 44 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:
Alternative Workweek Elections – This database provides a listing of all California employers that have filed alternate workweek election results with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, such as a 4/10 or 9/80 workweek, whether the alternative won or lost. The database is searchable by company name, address, city, county, state, zip code, and date of the election.
Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) Certified Firms – A database of firms certified in Oregon as disadvantaged, minority, women, and emerging. Allows searches by name, certification number, location, and keyword. Also allows searches by NAIC, NIGP, or ODOT commodity codes.
Texas Workforce commission Job Search – The Texas Workforce Commission provides future employees one of the largest job databases in Texas. The site requires users to register to find and apply for jobs with Texas state agencies or universities. A State Application for Employment can be completed on the site. Employers can post jobs, search resumes, and get labor market information as well.
For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/jobsdbs If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.